November 22 & December 15, 2010: Pastor Michel Morisset – Eben-Ezer Mission

Listen/view program.

michel-1When he was 19, Michel Morisset organized a weekly meeting of friends and family to discuss the issues facing them all in Haïti, in particular loathing the anti-education sentiment so prevalent at that time. As they gathered in a backyard every Thursday evening to discuss God and life, they started to attract neighbors who leaned on the fence to listen. Eventually, this informal meeting became a congregation.

At that time, unauthorized gatherings of over 20 persons meant serious trouble with the government for the leaders. Eventually, Michel’s older brother persuaded him to travel to Port-au-Prince to study and be ordained, solving the immediate threat of continuing what he recognized as his calling.

Pastor Michel immediately organized a high school, suffering from nearly universal disbelief and jeering from everyone, as it was considered “getting above oneself” to spurn the inadequate government education system. To be young is to be bold, but it took courage to persevere. His first class was six students and five teachers. After only two months, four of the students dropped out, leaving two students with the attention of the five teachers.

Through the force of his personality and faith, Pastor Michel continued to spread his message of self-reliance, freedom through education, and everyone’s ability to enjoy a healthy life if taught how to do it. By the next year, the Eben-Ezer Mission had 150 students, and the current school year has 1,500 students.

Pastor Michel and his colleagues and supporters have enjoyed much success in building a comprehensive, country-wide network of schools, from kindergarten through university and vocational-technical, in addition to hospitals, clinics, small factories, and farms.

But Eben-Ezer Mission today faces greater challenges than ever as the United States continues to squeeze Haïtian leaders, as outside financial assistance has dried up throughout the country, as national government statements have caused hard currency to evaporate from Haïti, as teachers are going unpaid and hunger is growing.

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